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Sri Lanka hosts 45th Annual World Pepper Summit

The 45th Annual World Pepper Summit organised by the International Pepper Community Organization will commence today in Kandy and continue till November 2.

President Maithripala Sirisena will be the chief guest at the conference.

India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam took part in the summit as its permanent members and Papua New Guinea and the Philippines participate as associate members.

Export Agriculture Director General Dr. M.A.P.K. Seneviratne told the Daily News that in addition to those countries, around 40 countries will participate in the four-day summit.

The summit was organized under the patronage of Primary Industry Development Minister Daya Gamage.

A pepper crops exhibition and a pepper clinic will take place during the summit. Sri Lanka boasts the best pepper varieties in the world with oil percentage at 4 percent.

Inclement climate in the last two years affected the local pepper production and the exporting volume dropped significantly.

Sri Lanka exported 16,656 MT of pepper in 2015 but the amount dropped in 2016 to 7,870 MT.

The country earned 19,552 million from pepper export in 2015 but last it was only Rs. 10,531 million, Dr. Seneviratne said.

In this background, the 45th Annual Pepper Summit held in Sri Lanka will pave way for Sri Lanka to clinch the international market for the country's crops such as pepper, clove, cinnamon, cardomom, ginger, nutmeg, vanila, turmeric, and cocoa among others, Dr. Seneviratne said